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NOTE: This article is an archived copy for portfolio purposes only, and may refer to obsolete products or technologies. Old articles are not maintained for continued relevance and accuracy.
May 25, 1998

Notes from the Reference Desk

The last few issues of this newsletter have been somewhat more technical than some of you prefer. So this time I'm going to give you a break and talk about something a little less obscure than X.500's reincarnation as an Internet standard. Instead, I'd like to share with you a list of on-line information resources that I've found to be useful.

Unfiltered News

Before news becomes "News!," it starts off as a press release. If you really want unfiltered access to everything that's happening in the high-tech community, sign up to some of the wire services. It's amazing how much information you can get. Note that these services can easily become overwhelming drains on your time. Among my favorites:

Post-Filtered News

The purpose of the technical press is not to report on every little thing that happens, but instead to report on the things that are interesting to the subscription base' profile. This is why networking magazines don't review hand-held scanners (so stop asking!). These filters are supposed to work in the reader's favor, giving better views on the news than the press releases alone could (or dare would) provide. Another function provided by publications is to get quotes from customers and competitors, explain the significance of the event, and otherwise attempt to turn fluff into substance.

Some on-line news sources do this really well. Most of you are probably already familiar with InfoWorld Electric, PC Week Online, TechWeb and NEWS.COM, the leaders in this space. But if you're like me, you can't take the time to browse through all of these sites every day. Not to worry: there are several e-mail news services out there that bring the news to you. The ones I've found to be the most useful are:

Technology Newsletters

News is nice, but it generally isn't enough by itself. Luckily for us (depending on who "us" is, I suppose), there are plenty of newsletters in this industry, providing everything from analysis to tips on how to run a good web site. While there are several for-fee newsletters out there, there are plenty of free ones that offer lots of value, too. Some of my favorites:

The Fun Stuff

You know what they say about all work and no play. Here are some of the more entertaining lists that I rely on for sanity-protection.

Although this is only a fraction of the stuff I get (and read) every week, these are the best of the bunch, I think.

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Copyright © 2010-2011 Eric A. Hall.
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